Boston countertop expert discusses radon

Who we talked to

Adam Graber

director of showroom sales and service

GerrityStone

225B Merrimac St.

Woburn, Mass.

gerritystone.com

781-938-1820

Adam Graber says the best part of his job as director of showroom sales and service at GerrityStone is helping his customers find the perfect stone to fit their needs. "There are about 150 different kinds of granite," Graber says. "My job is easy. The hardest part is [the customer] choosing the stone."

Is there any danger in the possibility of granite countertops emitting radon?

"I'm not going to say 100 percent no, but there have been a lot of tests on granite. We've had the slabs in our largest warehouse tested by Boston Environmental for radiation and the scan found nothing damaging. Anything from the earth emits radon, but the levels that our stone emits aren't dangerous. People have asked, 'I put granite countertops in four or five years ago, are they still safe?' We've even had some radiologists buy granite and they're very comfortable with the levels emitting from our stone. I don't think radon danger is affecting our business right now."

How could the radon emissions hurt homeowners?

"Any kind of radon or radiation can cause some types of cancer, typically in the brain. If it starts in the brain it can go to any part of your body, really."

Would you suggest regularly having granite checked for the level of radon emissions?

"I don't necessarily recommend it, but if it's a large worry to our customers, then I absolutely do. The chances of their stone emitting radon is very low. Just do your homework and if you don't feel comfortable, have it tested."

What can homeowners do to keep the emission levels down?

"There are radon reducing machines you can put in your home's HVAC system that filter out radon. These machines take in ambient air, spit out clean air and hang on to the radon. These do a significant job and can reduce up to 60 percent of the radon in your home if you have high levels. If you don't have high radon levels, I wouldn't recommend one."

Are there other safety concerns to consider regarding granite countertops?

"Not when it's installed. It's pretty heavy, but other than that, it can take a large beating in the kitchen. That's probably why there have been more and more people getting granite in their kitchen, along with its beauty and resilience."


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